August, 2017

Why Meritocracy Doesn’t Work

Grasshopper Herder

The anti-diversity manifesto written by a mystery Googler has put a spotlight on diversity efforts in the tech industry. Anti-diversity proponents say that meritocracy justifies the lack of diversity in tech. But the real question is: Does meritocracy work?

Working Outside the Tech Bubble

Steve Blank

Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other farms. Most people aren’t in tech or law or teaching in universities; they fall solidly in what is called working-class.

Founder Friendly

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Long time VC watcher, writer, and analyst Dan Primack suggested on Friday that the days of VCs trying to out “founder friendly” each other are now over. It is an interesting observation and was worthy of a reply. The VC industry is highly competitive for the best opportunities and we certainly do try to ingratiate ourselves and our firms to the entrepreneurs who will decide who gets to invest in their companies and who does not.

I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead.

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer. Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers.

What Belongs in a Startup’s Pitch Deck?

Gust

So you’ve developed a game-changing product, formed a business with a killer team, quit your job, and are rolling the product out to market. Your business is the next unicorn, and all is good in the world. Fantastic. Now only one thing is inhibiting your company’s growth: you have no money. For many founders of high-growth startups, bootstrapping has limits. Read more >. The post What Belongs in a Startup’s Pitch Deck? appeared first on The Gust Blog.

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Greed Isn’t Good

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The famous Gordon Gekko line that “greed is good” is bandied about quite often to explain why capitalism, and the pursuit of riches, is a positive thing for the economy, society, and the world at large. Greed is not good. There is a fine line between the profit motive and greed. I am a firm believer in the profit motive.

5 Reasons Every Smart Business Owner Seeks A Mentor

Startup Professionals Musings

Advice is cheap. As a new business owner, you don’t have to take any advice you hear, but failing to listen and learn from someone’s prior experience can cost you a fortune. As a long-time mentor and business advisor, I find it ironic that many look only to friends for advice.

You adapt, or you adopt, or you die

Steve Blank

I was in Boston and stopped by the Harvard Business Review for their IdeaCast podcast. I shared my current thinking about innovation in companies and government agencies. The interviewer, Curt Nickisch was great and managed to get me to summarize several years of learning in one podcast. He even got me to tell my Steve Jobs interview story. It’s worth a listen. Listen to the entire interview here : Or listen to just parts of the interview: 3:29 Entrepreneurs make their own luck.

Home Is Where the Innovation Is

View from Seed

If a man from 1987 stepped into a time machine and emerged in 2017, he would find the modern world fantastically different in many ways. Mobile computing means that he has the world’s information and entertainment at his literal fingertips.

What Do Boards Actually Do?

Both Sides of the Table

There’s a lot of mystique about what happens at board meetings and a lot of imagined board-room drama. I read commentary or Twitter or blogs and realize that there are also strongly held convictions that there are these evil VCs who do terrible things to mostly altruistic founders.

Saying No 100 Times A Day

Feld Thoughts

Given my role in the world, I say no a lot. I get hundreds of unsolicited emails a day, often asking me to get together, invest, or look at something. Lots of VCs and execs who I know simply ignore and don’t respond to these emails. I’ve always tried to at least respond to them unless they are clearly a mass email.

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A Public Record

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

AVC has been going on for almost 14 years now. I write every day, mostly about tech and investing in startups and observations about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. WordPress says I have posted 7,622 times. That is more than once a day but that is because I used to post multiple times a day. Now I can barely find the time to write once a day. Anyway, posting your thoughts and investment ideas every day creates a public record.

7 Reasons To Start A New Focus On Inbound Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business I know is intimately familiar with outbound marketing, or pushing your message out to customers through email, newspaper, and television advertising. Only a few really understand the process and value of inbound marketing, for pulling customers to your brand.

How to Write a Mission Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Up and Running

I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy —which does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless.

How To Run A Business, Raise A Child (And Stay Sane)

YFS Magazine

Raising a child and building a business reminds me that I’m fortunate enough to be involved in shaping more than one miracle. Lifestyle dadpreneur family business health and wellness lifestyle parent entrepreneurs parentpreneurs

11 Quick Tips to Get More Value out of Your Board

Both Sides of the Table

Many board meetings are bored meetings. Management teams whisk through slides trying to get through a presentation to share how great things are going and they are eager to get through the meeting so they can get back to their real jobs.

It Can All Change In A Day

Feld Thoughts

On July 28th, my partner Jason told me that Matt Bencke, the co-founder and CEO of Mighty AI , had suddenly gotten a serious cancer diagnosis. While Jason was on Matt’s board, I had spent plenty of time with him and, as one would expect, was shocked. I immediately sent Matt a note that said: I will keep confidential, but I wanted to send you love and good karma. You are a special person. I’ll be thinking good thoughts and sending you positive energy multiple times a day.

How to value your SaaS company

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

If you read my blog regularly you know I love (LOVE) metrics. So no surprise that when River Cities Capital released an overview of SaaS operating and valuation benchmarks, I hung on every juicy detail. It’s chocked full of them – I’d highly recommend your reading the full report.

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10 Key Business Domains With ‘Big Data’ Opportunities

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though ‘big data’ has now been around for several years, the opportunities for startups seem to keep growing, just as the amount of data keeps growing. According to IBM , companies have captured more data in the last two years than in the previous 2000 years.

8 Reasons Business Plans Fail That No One Wants to Talk About

Up and Running

As a full-time editor and academic mentor at an academic writing service, I have read hundreds of business plans over the years. To help students and startups, I have compiled a list of reasons business plans are rejected or given a low grade.

5 Habits That Kill Your Productivity

YFS Magazine

You may have picked up a few habits that make productivity an uphill battle. Here's a list of 5 common habits to break asap and boost your productivity. Lifestyle health and wellness lifestyle personal development productivity

Finding My Tribe — The Upside of the Downcast Year

Both Sides of the Table

It’s been a tough year globally. Many feel the division in our families and societies. It has been heart-breaking to see progress reversed and social & racial tensions exacerbated unnecessarily.

All Human Beings Have Equal Value

Feld Thoughts

Arnold Schwarzenegger says it brilliantly. The post All Human Beings Have Equal Value appeared first on Feld Thoughts. Government equal rights hate human

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business

YoungUpstarts

Artificial intelligence is increasingly making inroads into different areas of our lives. Many of the current and proposed uses for artificial intelligence are things that only a short time ago would have sounded right at home in speculative science fiction.

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6 Pragmatic Marketing Tips To Ramp-Up Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Marketing is everything these days. You can have the best technology, but if customers don’t know you exist, or they don’t know how your technology solves a real problem for them, your startup will fail.

6 Traits to Look for When Choosing a Business Partner

Up and Running

When you’re passionate about something and deeply committed to seeing it succeed, it can be hard to share control. However, you’ve probably already realized that when it comes to launching your new business, the “if you want it done right, do it yourself” approach can only get you so far.

For Entrepreneurs, Mindset Is Everything

YFS Magazine

The struggle to maintain an entrepreneurial spirit is something every founder struggles with throughout the lifetime of their business. Lead health and wellness leadership mindset personal development

18 Top A/B Testing Tools Reviewed by CRO Experts

ConversionXL

At this point in time, the field is flooded with solutions. Finding a proper A/B testing tool isn’t the problem anymore. Now, the problem is choosing the right one.

People Are The Price of Admission

Feld Thoughts

In my post recently titled Does VC Fund Differentiation Matter? several people commented on some variation of “people” as the key to everything. I don’t view people as differentiation. I view them as the price of admission. Amy just walked by, read this over my shoulder, and said: “I don’t know what that means.”

15 Entrepreneurs Reveal What Entrepreneurship Means to Them

Hearpreneur

Being an entrepreneur is a source of pride. It also evidences an individual with a huge amount of discipline and focus to be able to build a business a lot of times from just an idea. It is the ambition of an entrepreneur that built the most profitable and successful companies.

10 Principles For Surviving New Business Challenges

Startup Professionals Musings

As the economy flourishes after some tough economic times, more and more people seem to be turning to entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment. I applaud this trend, but caution all of you thinking this direction to approach entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open.

How a Design Startup Scaled and Gained International Credibility

Up and Running

I co-founded Designhill in 2014 with my brother Rahul. I knew that a platform that focused exclusively on graphic design was needed both for freelance designers (like myself), and for people looking for quality, affordable design solutions.

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Why Every Entrepreneur Should Take A Sabbatical

YFS Magazine

When you love what you do, it seems like you wouldn’t want to step away from it. However, if you don’t take a break, you will burn out. Editor Picks Lifestyle health and wellness lifestyle personal development sabbatical

6 Customer Journey Mapping Examples: How UX Pros Do It

ConversionXL

Customer journey mapping is a widely used and impactful technique that can help you make better product, marketing, UX, and merchandising decisions.